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Full text of "A history of Persia"

DECLINE OF SAFAVI DYNASTY       299
were cut down. From the scene of this barbarous excess
the^ army marched across the Zagros against Baghdad.
This city- was strongly held by a determined garrison, and
although the bombardment levelled the walls, the assault
which followed was repulsed, thousands of Turks being
buried in the ruins. After this failure the Turkish army
retreated on Mosul. In the following year a fresh
campaign was attempted, but the disgrace of the Grand
Vizier and a series of mutinies that followed gave Persia
a much-needed respite.
The Erivan Campaign, A.H. 1045 (I^35)- — During
the first twelve years of his reign Murad had never gone
further than Adrianople in Europe and Brusa in Asia ;
he now took the field in person. His first campaign was
directed against Erivan, which capitulated on terms in
A.H. 1045 (I^35)- Tabriz, the next objective, was
occupied without resistance. In spite of this it was
deliberately destroyed, the," Blue Mosque being saved
only by the entreaties of the Mufti, who pointed out that
it had been built by a Sunni. This concluded the
season's operations, and the Sultan returned in triumph
to Constantinople. Shah Safi'had not dared to face the
Turkish army, but upon its departure he besieged Erivan.
The efforts made by the Turkish authorities to come to
the aid of the garrison were futile, and after its surrender
in the spring of 1636 the Shah returned to Isfahan.
The Capture of Baghdad, A.H. 1048 (1638).—Three
years later Murad marched on Baghdad, moving, as in the
former campaign, by way of Mosul. On the very day
of his arrival the siege of Baghdad was begun. The
Sultan shared the perils and hardships with his soldiers
and under his personal supervision extraordinary energy-
was shown. Although the Grand Vizier was killed in
leading an assault, the Turks were not to be denied, and
on the fortieth day they regained possession of the city,
fifteen years after its capture by the Persians. Murad
offered terms to the garrison, but as the resistance was
continued in isolated towers the Ottoman soldiery
massacred them all. During the siege Shah Safi had
appeared at Kasr-i-Shirin with 12,000 men, but this